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Festival Speakers

Check back for updates as we add more speakers to our line up!
Damola Adamolekun
Damola Adamolekun
CEO, Board of Directors
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc.
Jae Kim
Jae Kim
Founder
Chi’Lantro BBQ
Mike Rypka
Mike Rypka
Founder & CEO
Torchy’s Tacos
Lon Symensma
Lon Symensma
Owner/Executive Chef
ChoLon Restaurant Concepts
Michael McHenry
Michael McHenry
Founder
The McHenry Group
Robin Robison
Robin Robison
Chief Operating Officer
Modern Restaurant Concepts
Sam Oches
Sam Oches
Editor-in-Chief
Nation’s Restaurant News
John Peyton
John Peyton
CEO
Dine Brands
Christi Ravneberg
Christi Ravneberg
Senior Managing Editor
Nation’s Restaurant News
Lisa Jennings
Lisa Jennings
Executive Editor
Nation’s Restaurant News
Jessica Tomlinson
Jessica Tomlinson
Director of Culinary
Ford’s Garage USA
Josh Halpern
Josh Halpern
CEO
Big Chicken
Sahil Rahman
Sahil Rahman
Co-Founder
RASA
Nick Marsh
Nick Marsh
CEO
Founder’s Table
Holly Petre
Holly Petre
Digital Editor
Nation’s Restaurant News
Paul Macaluso
Paul Macaluso
CEO
Another Broken Egg
Betsy Hamm
Betsy Hamm
CEO
Duck Donuts
Lindsay Rakowski
Lindsay Rakowski
Vice President of National Marketing
Wendy’s
Bret Thorn
Bret Thorn
Senior Editor, Food & Beverage
Nation’s Restaurant News
Sanjiv Razdan
Sanjiv Razdan
President Americas & India
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Ron Ruggless
Ron Ruggless
Senior Editor
Nation’s Restaurant News
Joel Yashinsky
Joel Yashinsky
Chief Marketing Officer
Applebee’s
Stratis Morfogen
Stratis Morfogen
Founder
Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, Brooklyn Chop House
Otto Othman
Otto Othman
Co-Founder & CEO
PINCHO
Leigh Anne Zinsmeister
Leigh Anne Zinsmeister
Group Managing Editor
Nation’s Restaurant News
Bonin Bough
Bonin Bough
Marketing Guru, Investor, Author
Dontre’al Haigler
Dontre’al Haigler
Product Development
Denny’s
Ashley Morris
Ashley Morris
CEO
Capriotti’s & Wing Zone
Troy Guard
Troy Guard
Owner/Executive Chef
TAG Restaurant Group
Meredith Cagigal
Meredith Cagigal
VP Foodservice Channel Strategy & Execution
The Coca-Cola Company
Kieran Donahue
Kieran Donahue
Chief Marketing Officer
IHOP
Joanna Fantozzi
Joanna Fantozzi
Senior Editor
Nation’s Restaurant News
James O’Reilly
James O’Reilly
CEO
Smokey Bones
Carron Harris
Carron Harris
Sr. Director of Culinary
Papa Murphy’s
Kelley Fechner
Kelley Fechner
Director Customer Solutions
Datassential
Khanh Nguyen
Khanh Nguyen
Chief Executive Officer
Zalat Pizza
Imran Sheikh
Imran Sheikh
Co-founder and CEO
Milkshake Concepts
Bettina Stern
Bettina Stern
Principal & Co-Founder
Chaia

What are you responsible for at your company?
Co-CEO role - but predominately development, strategy, branding, marketing, partnerships

How would your customers describe your restaurant brand?
Chaia is an unconventional taco shop on a mission to get people to eat more vegetables, for both their health and the health of the environment. We believe that everything’s better in a taco, and that making the world a better place starts with the food we eat.

What excites you about the future of this industry?
Our dream has always been change-making at scale, and we’re ready to take Chaia to its full potential. We look forward to bringing ‘farm to taco’ to neighborhoods and families across the country

Other than your own restaurants, what is your all-time favorite meal?
summer food: a ripe tomato sandwich for lunch and fresh-caught, grilled bluefish for supper

Give us a fun fact about yourself?
I'm learning to surf!

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